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How to Check Car Oil

Although it’s a small service and oil change frequency varies, oil necessary to keep the engine running smoothly. Of course, your vehicle needs the right amount of oil to reap the benefits.



Whether you’re cruising around Des Moines in a used Passat or venturing beyond Urbandale in a new Tiguan, you want to make sure your engine has enough oil to protect its moving parts. Read on to learn how to check car oil levels quickly and easily!


Step-by-Step Guide: How to Check Oil Level in Cars

First, check your owner’s manual. Many new models feature an electronic oil monitor, which eliminates the need for a dipstick. If your car doesn’t have one of these monitors, follow these steps to check the oil level manually:

  • Park your car on a flat surface and turn off the engine. If the engine is still warm, allow it to cool down.
  • Pop the hood and locate the dipstick.
  • Remove the dipstick from the engine. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe any motor oil from the dipstick.
  • Place the dipstick back in its compartment, then remove it once more. Examine the oil line on both sides.

Dipsticks have markings that tell you whether the oil level is too low, too high, or just right. If the oil level rests between two marks or in a cross-hatched area, the oil level is good. If not, check your owner’s manual. Buy the oil that’s suggested for your vehicle, be it regular oil, synthetic oil, or a synthetic blend, and add a bit at a time until the level is ideal.

Blue gloved hand drains dirty oil from under car


Schedule Oil Service at Lithia Volkswagen of Des Moines!

Would you rather leave Volkswagen service to the professionals? Schedule auto service near West Des Moines and our team of certified technicians will adjust your car’s oil and answer any questions you have about how to check how check car oil, how to turn off the EPC light, and more. Before you schedule, be sure to browse our current service specials for opportunities to save on services you need!


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